There were 150 singers and a 20-person orchestra performing a holiday concert at the 1st Congregational Church here in Long Beach tonight. The church was sold out holding about 600 people who were all enchanted with the virtuoso musical talent. The interior of the church is massive beautiful natural finished wood with round, 20 feet in diameter stained glass windows on either side. A massive pipe organ with hundreds of pipes along the upper reaches of the pulpit and choir area boomed out into our hearts. The choir area held 60 people and another section of the balcony held the rest of the singers. Theatrical lighting in sync with the music added to the mystique and passion. Our bodies could feel the joyous sounds, the intensity of the singers, musicians and the rapt engrossment of the audience. Whatever else I may have been thinking or worrying about disappeared. My Christmas list, the chronic pain in my shoulder, my age, my schedule at work, what time is it, will I get enough sleep, the wondering about the economy and government, the differences in our families; there seems to be a never-ending stream of possible things to think and worry about. The steady stream of thoughts never ends.
Thank God for good music. My attention and body sensations were fully engaged outside of all my concerns.
My favorite quote from Will Rogers;
“I’ve been through a lot of troubles in my life, some of them actually happened”
I will be leaving on Dec 21st for a ten day, Vipassana silent meditation retreat. The schedule is, 5 two-hour sessions a day of meditation with no talking in between times for the entire 10 days. We are fed twice a day. There is no reading or writing allowed as part of the agreement to be there.
I do not know what will happen to that never-ending stream of personal conversation, worries, planning and what-ifs I listen to in my head each day. There will not be any music as a distraction either.
I may have to trust that life will go on just fine.
And that we are all taken care of.
Oh, the power and intensity of the pipe organ in the church was almost orgasmic.
The memories may give me something to think about while I am sitting in meditation.